Clemson Men’s Basketball travel to Atlanta for Georgia Tech rematch

The Clemson men’s basketball will travel to Atlanta to face the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets on Wednesday night at the McCamish Pavilion. 

The Tigers are coming off a heartbreaking loss this past weekend, when they blew a 12-point lead against the NC State Wolfpack on Saturday night, losing on a go-ahead shot with nine seconds remaining to steal a home win away from Clemson.

The last time that these two teams played, it was a similar affair to that one on Saturday night. The Tigers (17-8, 7-7 ACC) held a lead by as much as nine in the second half before the Yellow Jackets stormed back, forcing two overtimes and pulling away late for a shocking 93-90 upset at Littlejohn Coliseum on Jan. 16. 

A big takeaway from that contest was the poor shooting and defending from three-point range that Clemson showed. The Tigers shot a poor 14.3% from beyond the arc, making three three-pointers out of 21 attempts. On the other hand, the Yellow Jackets shot 42.9% from three, sinking 13 throughout the contest, especially down the stretch over the course of the game. 

While the team gets consistent performances from players like PJ Hall, Ian Schieffelin and Chase Hunter, guard Joe Girard III will be the X-factor for the Tigers if they want to win this game. The ACC Player of the Week last week has scored 18 points or more across his last four games, scoring at least three or more three-pointers in the last five games. 

Though Girard had 11 points and sank two threes in the loss to the Yellow Jackets earlier this season, his contributions from downtown will be the difference maker in Wednesday’s contest. 

On the brighter side, Brownell and his squad have done a phenomenal job in rematches this season, where they are 2-0 in games against ACC opponents in which they already played. Both these teams, North Carolina and Miami, were teams that they had initially lost to earlier this season, getting a little revenge by splitting the series at one apiece. The Tigers will hope for the same outcome as the previous two on Wednesday night. 

Since the meeting, it has not been a great turnaround for opposing head coach Damon Stoudemire and his team. Georgia Tech (11-15, 4-11 ACC)  is 2-7 in the nine games since the double overtime win, but does share a vital win with the Tigers: North Carolina.  The Yellow Jackets stole a win at home from the Tar Heels, winning on a go-ahead shot by a score of 74-73. 

Despite what their record shows, Georgia Tech is the only team this season that has beaten the two historic blue bloods of the ACC: Duke and North Carolina. 

The three main weapons for Stoudemire that the Tigers need to look out for are Miles Kelly, Baye Ndongo and Naithan George. Kelly leads the team in scoring, with an impressive 14.7 points per game as well as 6.0 rebounds a night. Ndongo, the main man down low for the Jackets, is coming off a 16-point double-double in their win over Syracuse this past weekend. The freshman averages 12.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game for Georgia Tech. 

Perhaps the most memorable face from this opposing squad is George, who scored a team-high 20 points and had six assists in the Jan. 16 win over the Tigers. Despite averaging a quiet 9.1 points per game, the freshman always shows up in big games, with 17 and 16-point performances against Duke and North Carolina, respectively. If the game is close towards the end of the game, No. 2 for Georgia Tech will be getting the ball. 

Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. and the game will be broadcasted on the ACC Network. 

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